London to Amsterdam via the Stena Line ferry

At 63,000 tons, the Stena Hollandica & Stena Britannica are the largest ferries serving the UK.  Watch the video guide.

London to Amsterdam via the Stena Line ferry

Comfort class cabin with shower, toilet & satellite TV...

Buy train tickets from London to Amsterdam via ferry

London to Any Dutch station by train & ferry from 55...

Stena Line sell special Rail & Sail tickets from London or Any Greater Anglia station to Amsterdam or Any Dutch station, covering the train to Harwich, the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland and onward trains to any Dutch station, all on one ticket for one inclusive price, from 55 plus a choice of cabins from 35.

You can leave central London by train at 7:30pm, sleep in a cosy private cabin with shower, toilet, WiFi & satellite TV on the luxurious Stena Line superferry from 21:00 to 08:00, and arrive Rotterdam at 9am or Amsterdam Centraal at 10:25am, without a 4.30am alarm call or 6:30am check-in at the airport!  It saves an expensive hotel room in London or Amsterdam and it's an experience in itself, see the video guide...

The Rail & Sail service is run jointly by Stena Line, Greater Anglia & Dutch Railways (NS).

CO2 savings:  Flight = 68 Kg CO2 per passenger, Rail & Sail = 13.6 Kg = 80% saving (Source).

COVID-19 update:  The Stena Line ferry is still running as normal, but Stena Line has temporarily halted sale of the special RailSail combined tickets.  So until further notice you need to buy a foot passenger ferry ticket from Harwich to Hoek plus separate train tickets.  More COVID-19 travel info

Times, fares, tickets...

  London to Amsterdam by overnight ferry

  London to Amsterdam by day ferry

  Amsterdam to London by overnight ferry

  Amsterdam to London by day ferry

  How much does it cost?

  How to buy tickets

  The journey explained in pictures

  Choice of cabin types

  Watch the video guide

 

On other pages...

  London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

  To the Netherlands by Hull-Rotterdam ferry

  To the Netherlands by Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry

  Trains from Amsterdam to other European cities

  Trains from other European cities to Amsterdam

  Amsterdam Centraal station guide

  Amsterdam hotels

  Map of Amsterdam

Timetable London ► Amsterdam

The night boat...

The day boat...

Timetable Amsterdam ► London

The night boat...

The day boat...

How much does it cost?

About these fares...

Luggage, dogs & bikes...

How to buy tickets starting in the UK. 

How to buy tickets starting in the Netherlands...

What's the journey like?

1.  London to Harwich by train...

The train to Harwich International leaves from London Liverpool Street station in the heart of the City of London, see station location map.

There is no check-in, just board the train any time before it leaves.  The departure board will tell you which platform it leaves from, staff will let you through the automatic ticket gates when you show your Stena Line e-ticket.  The Stena e-ticket is all you need for this train journey.

The train has free WiFi & toilets.  There are no reserved seats, you sit where you like, you'll have no problem finding a seat.  Luggage goes on the racks or simply on the floor.  It's just 82 minutes to Harwich, you can also board the train at Stratford, Shenfield, Chelmsford, Colchester & Manningtree.

Tip 1:  On a weekday evening, Liverpool Street station is busy with commuters and the station bars can be hectic.  A more peaceful place to wait with a coffee or beer is the Eastway Brasserie (eastwaybrasserie.co.uk) or 1901 Wine Lounge, both part of the Andaz London Liverpool Street Hotel, formerly the historic Great Eastern Hotel.  Go up the big escalators opposite platforms 1-4, exit the station and turn left along the station facade.

Tip 2:  Your Stena Line e-ticket is all you need to board the train.  It won't operate the ticket gates at London Liverpool Street so just ask staff to let you through.

Tip 3:   Tickets are good for any train, not just the advertised ferry connections.  When connecting with the night boat, why not catch an earlier train from London to Manningtree, have a pint and some food in the excellent station bar on the platform there, then travel on to Harwich?

Tip 4:  If you want to be first onto the ship at Harwich, sit at the rear of the train - although the front of the train will be emptier if you want to spread out.

 

London Liverpool Street station...

 

The train to Harwich International with toilets & free WiFi.  These class 321 trains are due to be replaced by brand-new air-conditioned Aventra trains from some time in 2020...

2. Harwich to Hoek van Holland by Stena Line ferry...

At Harwich, the train arrives directly at the ferry terminal - you'll see the ship on your left as the train pulls in.  Walk back along the platform towards the rear of the train, through the double glass doors at the London end of the platform straight into the ferry terminal and up the escalators to the first floor.

Boarding the ferry:  Walk through the door marked Departures.  Stena Line staff will check your ticket as you enter.  Then you put your bags through the X-ray machine and walk through the metal detector, then have your passport checked by UK Border Force.  You then get to the check-in desk where Stena Line staff scan the barcode on your e-ticket and print your cabin key and any meal vouchers.  They'll give you your RET-NS Combi-ticket which is a disposable smartcard covering your onward RET metro & Dutch Railways (NS) train travel.  If you're making a round trip, they'll give you a second ticket for the return journey.  Now you walk up the passenger gangway onto the Stena Line superferry.  Outside peak periods It can take as little as 15 minutes from train to ship, a far more relaxed experience than any airport.

On board:  You enter the ship on deck 7, go up the stairs or lift to deck 9 where all the passenger facilities are located including bars, restaurants, shop, lounges & the guest services desk.  All cabins are on decks 10 & 11.  There is open-air deck towards the stern on deck 9 for some sea air and a sealed & ventilated smoking lounge forward on deck 9 if you're a smoker.  The small Stena Plus Lounge (day crossings only) has complimentary tea, coffee, red & white wine, snacks & newspapers - although I think it's better to pay for a private cabin rather than the lounge, even on the day crossing, as you can snooze, shower, watch TV, or just relax or work in privacy.

WiFi:  WiFi is available on board on deck 9 and in cabins, free for the first 20 minutes, with packages for faster & longer access costing a few euros.  You can use your normal mobile phone data while the ferry is in or near port.

All-weather reliable, steady as a rock...  The Stena Line superferries are 63,000 tons GT (Gross Tonnage), the largest Ro-Pax ships serving the UK, steady as a rock in almost all weathers.  Indeed, I've crossed in winter as a 'named' Force 10 storm lashed the North Sea:  Falling asleep before she sailed, I woke briefly in the night, felt some minor undulation, fell asleep again and woke at Harwich as we arrived spot on time.  I've sailed to the Netherlands at Christmas watching BBC news on our cabin TV about Heathrow closed due of snow and all flights grounded - the Stena Liner sailed & arrived spot on time as always.  This is the all-weather reliable route!

Lights ablaze, her restaurants & bars already open, the overnight Stena Liner boards passengers at Harwich International Port...

 

Metropolitan la carte restaurant...  If you add lunch or dinner to your booking, a table will be reserved for you here with your name on it.  If you haven't pre-booked, just turn up & ask for a table.

 

Taste self-service restaurant...  Serves breakfast, lunch & dinner.  If you add breakfast to your booking it is served here.  Choose from cereal, juice, tea, coffee, continental breakfast or a cooked breakfast with eggs and bacon.

 

Stena Plus Lounge with complimentary tea, coffee, wine...

  Open deck aft on Deck 9 for some sea air...

Choice of cabin accommodation...

A private cabin is compulsory on the night boat, optional (but half-price and a good idea) on the day boat.  All cabins have an en suite toilet & shower, satellite TV, all necessary bedding, towels, soap & shampoo.  There a desk with power sockets (UK 3-pin & European 2-pin) for laptops & mobiles.  Outside cabins have a window, inside cabins don't.  Stena Line are so proud of their Dux beds they put the Dux logo on the cabin doors - and it's true, the beds are extremely comfortable.  The satellite TV has BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, and several Dutch Channels, plus a channel showing a forward view from the bridge and a channel which cycles through CCTV camera in the kennels so you can see your dog.  Click the images for larger photos...

 

Standard inside cabin, 1 or 2 berth

 

Standard outside cabin, 1 or 2 berth.  See 360 photo.

   

Standard 4 or 5 berth cabin ideal for families...

 

All cabins have shower & toilet.

 

Cabins are all on Deck 10 & 11...

 

Comfort Class cabin 1 or 2 berth, complimentary minibar, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.

 

Captain's Class cabin with double bed, complimentary minibar with sparkling wine, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.

 

Captain's Suite with bedroom & separate sitting room, double bed, complimentary minibar with sparkling wine, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer, widescreen TV.  The ship has just two Captain's suites.  The bedroom has a forward view.

Breakast buffet   Breakast buffet

Breakfast buffet in the self-service Taste Restaurant.  Whether you go for this depends on whether you want maximum sleep, or are lured by a cooked breakfast...

The huge 63,000 ton Stena Britannica arrived at Hoek van Holland in the morning...

3. Hoek van Holland to Schiedam Centrum by metro...

Disembarkation:  Foot passengers gather on Deck 9 near the guest services desk as the ship docks, when the gangway opens just after docking you simply walk off the ship along the gangway into the Stena Line terminal.  Your passport is checked by the Dutch police, then you walk out of the terminal building through the automatic glass doors to the right straight onto the RET (Rotterdam Transit) metro platform.  You can often be off the ship and onto a metro train in as little as 10-15 minutes.

Now take the metro!  If you have a print-at-home ticket the barcode will operate any station or metro ticket gates if you hold it against the scanner, but there are no ticket gates at Hoek van Holland, you can just walk on.  If you have a conventional hard-copy RET-NS Combi-Ticket (no longer issued by Stena Line), remember to touch in for the metro by holding your against the validator post on the platform until it beeps.

Hoek van Holland is the starting point for metro line B, trains run every 20 minutes weekdays, every 30 minutes weekends, taking 23 minutes to Schiedam Centrum, 30 minutes to downtown Rotterdam & 50 minutes to Rotterdam Alexander.  The end destination of line B is Nesselande.  Luggage goes with you, on the floor or in a special luggage area.

Change at Schiedam Centrum for mainline trains to Den Haag, Leiden, Haarlem, Amsterdam.  Alight at a station such as Beurs for downtown Rotterdam. 

Change at Rotterdam Alexander for mainline trains to Gouda, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Zwolle, Groningen & Leeuwarden.  There are no ticket gates at Rotterdam Alexander, so remember to touch out from the metro & touch in again on the mainline platform if you are using a conventional hard-copy RET-NS Combi-Ticket, touching in and out is not necessary if you have a print-at-home ticket.

The Hoek of Holland-Rotterdam metro started running on 30 September 2019, after two years spent converting this mainline rail route to light rail.  The metro runs above ground all the way to Schiedam, over a right of way that until the 1990s was used by expresses from Hoek of Holland to places as far afield as Copenhagen or Moscow, running in connection with the ferries.  A historic link!

 

4. Schiedam Centrum to Amsterdam by Intercity train...

For Delft, Den Haag, Leiden, Haarlem or Amsterdam, get off the metro at Schiedam Centrum.  Schiedam Centrum has 4 metro platforms & 5 mainline platforms.  The metro arrives on one side of the station, the train to Amsterdam leaves from platform 5 on the other side.  Go down the escalators or lift from the metro platform, through the metro ticket gates using your RET-NS Combi-ticket, through the NS (Dutch Railways) ticket gates again using your RET-NS Combi-Ticket and up the escalators or lift to platform 5.

The Dutch Intercity train to Amsterdam is double-deck, get an upstairs seat for the best views.  There are toilets & free WiFi on board.  Luggage goes on the racks or in the gaps between seat backs.  You arrive at Amsterdam Centraal, walking distance from almost all of Amsterdam's sights.  See Amsterdam Centraal station information.

 

Upper deck seats on the Intercity to Amsterdam...

 

Double-deck Intercity train at Amsterdam Centraal...

Amsterdam Centraal station.  See Amsterdam Centraal station information.

Tips for changing at Rotterdam Alexander...

If you're travelling between Hoek van Holland and Gouda, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Zwolle, Leeuwarden or Groningen, it's quickest and easiest to change between metro & NS mainline trains at Rotterdam Alexander, a little way east of central Rotterdam.

At Rotterdam Alexander there are 2 metro platforms at street level, and 2 Dutch Railways high-level platforms on an embankment reached by stairs or lift. 

When travelling east from Hoek van Holland you want Dutch Railways platform 1 for Utrecht & beyond which is the same side of the embankment as the metro station, so just leave the metro platform and go up the lift/stairs you can see nearest to you. 

When travelling west towards Hoek you want metro station platform 1 for Hoek van Holland, this is on the far side of the metro tracks so cross over via the level crossing (just visible in the background of this photo).  There's a lot of building work at Alexander at the moment to make this a more integrated interchange.

Rotterdam Alexander, metro platforms...  This photo is taken from platform 1 of the metro station, that's the rear of a metro going to Hoek van Holland.  The mainline NS station is on the embankment just out of shot to the right, that's an Intercity train to Utrecht heading off to the right.

Rotterdam Alexander, mainline platforms...  This shows the lift & stairs up to the Utrecht-bound platform on the embankment.  The metro platforms are at ground level out of shot to the left.

Video guide: London to Amsterdam

 

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Hotels in Amsterdam

Suggested hotels in Amsterdam...

Suggested hotels in Rotterdam...

AirBnB:  www.airbnb.com...

  • www.airbnb.com began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers looking for a place to stay.  AirBnB is a platform which connects hosts with guests, so you can now book a room in people's homes, or an apartment, flat or house which people want to rent out.  It can be nicer than a hostel, cheaper than many hotels.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...


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